Disney animated films

The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor.

Moana

Over the years Disney has produced some of the greatest animated films ever. And this year they may have given us one of their best. A heartfelt and fun family film. The music is incredible, and the story is awesome.

Moana tells the story of an island “princess” named Moana, voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, who is destined to be more than just her village’s Chief as her father wants her to be. Her grandmother supports her and with her motivation she sails off to find the great Demi God Maui, voiced by The Rock, and force him to set the world right. Along their adventure they are forced to deal with pirates, and having to learn to work together to restore the world.

The cast is absolutely phenomenal! Auli’i Cravalho is a new comer whose name I cannot pronounce, however we all better learn it, and learn it well. Because she is a star. Not only an incredible singing voice, but she brings this character to life through her personality. She had a pretty big task ahead of her. For this movie rest on her shoulders, and her ability to go toe to toe with The Rock. The Rock is one the biggest forces in the world right now. And he truly shines as the Demi God Maui. While when he first comes on scene you hear The Rock, by the time his musical number concludes, he is Maui. These two are incredible together.

The story is pretty paint by numbers, however they do such a good job with the characters that you don’t really notice the usual Disney Tropes. The journey through the story is so well done, that it doesn’t truly hurt the film. The musical numbers are used in such a way to push the story forward and give you great exposition that could’ve come off as unwanted. But because they are so well written they make the story work.

Speaking of the music, it is absolutely incredible. While the film came out awhile back and I am a little late to the party, I am surprised we did not get “Let It Go-ed” with a few of these different musical numbers. I came out loving nearly every song. Immediately YouTubing the songs they are some of the catchiest numbers Disney has ever given us.

The visuals are absolutely stunning! Some of the shots on the ocean I could not believe that they were animated. It was beautiful. Made me want to go to a beach and forget this crazy city life I live. The characters were all done with great detail and fit to their voices so well.

I had a few issues with the film, most of them being a random musical number done by a giant sparling crab voiced by Jermaine Clement. The number and scene just did not seem to fit in the film and I was kind of taken out of it. Another issue I had was with I felt to be a random pointless character. Heihei, Moana’s pet rooster, who even director Ron Clements described as “the dumbest character in the history of Disney animation.” I really feel the film wouldn’t be missing a thing if that character had just been taken out altogether. Or maybe replaced by Moana’s other pet, a little pig.

Other than that the film is so much fun, and I truly enjoyed the music and story. I am giving Moana a score of 3.9 with a .4 bonus for the music. That gives it a Jeebus Score of 4.3! Now I ask you Jackass Nation, have you seen Moana yet? What is your favorite Disney song! Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Big Hero 6

Disney/Marvel has released their first animated property in Big Hero 6. Now just to be honest, I have not seen Wreck it Ralph, or Frozen, making Big Hero 6 the first of Disney animated films I have watched in a long time. And to add just a little more, besides The Lego Movie it’s really the only new animated film I have seen is a very long time. Didn’t see the 2 How to Train your Dragons, or the Despicable Me films. So I don’t have much to judge on. That said, putting Big Hero 6 up against The Lego Movie and all other films this year, it ranks pretty high.

Big Hero 6 stars an ensemble voice cast of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, T.J. Miller, Daniel Henney, and Maya Rudolph. It is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and is loosely based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. I say loosely because the writers took some liberties and changed a lot from the comics, which is not a bad a thing. I think it helps bring the characters to a broader audience.

Set in the fictional town of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 follows the story of a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada (Potter) who after a tragic accident at a science convention loses his brother. Hero befriends his brothers robotic nurse invention named Baymax (Adsit), and the two are thrust in a mystery where he along with his brother’s robotic school class mates to stop a villain hell-bent on revenge.

The story seems nearly generic, but the film does a great job flipping it on its side with a very simple but out of nowhere twist. Which makes for a very intriguing script. The cast is pretty basic, but that’s expected. I’m not one who needs a big name cast in animated films. Let the trained voice actors do their jobs. However this cast is very functional. I would call T.J. Miller the break out voice, his character Fred is a very fun. As far as the characters go they are pretty cliché aside from Hiro and Baymax. But that is also to be expected. The most lovable and memorable character will definitely be Baymax. This lovable robot makes you just want to hug him. I left the theater wanting this robot for my own nurse! Although the characters can kind of seem generic, you do still connect to them. And the film draws you in. I even teared up a good amount in it.

There a few problems with the pacing of the film. The beginning of the film is very into character development with its main character and his brother, and in the 2nd act it can seem to be a little slow. Even its training montage is not as fun as you would like it to be. But as the twist begins to take us into its 3rd act, the film randomly jumps into its action pact finale. Also, even though it is an animated film, the villain is pretty one dimensional. I’m not saying we needed Koki, but a little more character development wouldn’t of hurt.

The visuals of the film are stunning though. The city of San Fransokyo transports you to a place that seems not only foreign, but familiar as well. You can see that Disney Animation and Pixar are truly merging into one incredible company. An example of this merger is ever so clear in the pre film short entitled Feast that follows a puppy and his enormous appetite and love for his master. True story, you’re going tear up before Big Hero 6 even starts, and if you don’t, you probably don’t have a soul. I didn’t watch this in 3D because I rend to not like 3D, however I could imagine this might be a good one to see in 3D if you are someone who likes it, or can tolerate on a case by case bases.

All in all I really enjoyed Big Hero 6 all though not as much as The Lego Movie. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 5.0, with a .2 bonus for its surprise cameo that you really have to pay attention to see. That brings us to a 5.2, Multiple Viewings Required. And one final bit of advice, when you do go to see it, make sure you sit through those credits, because hey, this is a Marvel film after all……..